Opposition in ministry
"If you find yourself without any opposition, it’s probably because you aren’t going anywhere."
I can’t remember where I first heard that, but it was definitely an encouraging word. It’s true that if we are doing anything worthwhile (and especially for God) then we should expect some opposition and friction in our lives.
In Exodus 5, Pharaoh was a very real opposition to Moses. As Moses was called to free the children of Israel from slavery, so are we called to bring freedom to the captives of darkness - and this brings opposition. However, like Moses, we shouldn’t loose heart, because when there’s opposition, there’s also a great work that has begun.
But let’s not forget spiritual opposition as well. Sometimes our opposition is physical, but the majority of it is spiritual. From both within and without we can be attacked, influenced, and tempted to be discouraged in the work, disqualified from the work, or simply distracted from the work. However, we are not powerless in this war against Satan, as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4,
"For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds."
God’s power is in us both to “will and to do for His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13) and so we don’t have to fear the spiritual opposition that we will face in ministry - but we do need to be aware of it. Here are four things I encourage you to do when you face spiritual opposition in your ministry:
Block out the noise
Before we can seek God and turn to His comfort and power, we need to first remove the other noise from our lives. Whether this be literal noise sometimes, or just the voices inside our heads full of lies and discouragement. The book “Crash the Chatterbox" by Steven Furtick is a great book on turning from the lies of the enemy and turning to the truth of God.
Reflect on God’s Word
Not merely read, but reflect. So often we can read without truly pondering and absorbing the truth that God’s Word brings us. Words of life, promise, encouragement, power, and so much more.
Prayer is the most underused privilege in the Christian life. We have been given God’s ear, and heart - and yet we so often choose to act as if we’re all alone! Prayer ought to be the lifeblood of every Christian and church, but it is all the most essential in times of spiritual opposition to be in prayer.
Draw near to others
So often our response to spiritual warfare and opposition is to withdraw from relationships, but this is not how we are meant to be. Relationships have been designed by God to encourage, and build us up and make us stronger together than the sum of our parts. One of Satan’s greatest tools is to divide and conquer, and if you begin drifting away from others, you’re just walking straight into a trap of loosing your passion for Jesus, and drifting away from the work He has called you to.
I hope these things encourage you as you continue to serve in whatever ministry God has called you to. May you continue to press on in spite of opposition knowing that God is using you and will always be with you.